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Over Half of Americans Believe They Don’t Have the Skills to Avoid Layoffs According to New Cornerstone Report

Transparency and Skills Development Could Help People Across Generations Feel Confident in Their Ability to Avoid Layoff and Alleviate the Vast Uncertainty About the Future of Work

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. , a global leader in the cloud-based learning, talent management and emerging talent experience market, announced the release of its latest workforce trends report Building an Adaptive Workforce: The Demand for Transparency and Skills Development. The report reveals insights on how individuals and businesses can bridge the gap between current skill sets and the skills required for job security, continued career growth and agility in the changing future of work.

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The survey of 1,000 Americans revealed important information for employers who want to train their workforce related to baby boomers, Gen X and millennials:

  • 53% aren’t sure they have the skills to withstand a future layoff
  • 83% believe it is essential to improve professional skills
  • 60% of boomers feel insecure with their current skill sets
  • 53% of millennials say their employers help them identify the skills they need, while only 37% of boomers agree

Of those surveyed, only half of people believe their current employers provide the right development opportunities to help them be successful. Employees also report a lack of transparency from their employers around job-critical skills and internal mobility, with older generations receiving the least amount of support related to their careers. Heightening the crisis, 73% of the baby boomer generation finds their employers remiss in helping them identify the skills they need to be successful.

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People need to continuously adapt and learn new skills in order to stay ahead of change, prevent displacement and prepare themselves as well as their companies for future opportunities. According to PwC’s “Workplace of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030” report, today’s workforce possesses the drive to learn high-demand skills although there is less clarity on career direction. In fact, 74% of the global population is eager to learn new skills or completely retrain in order to remain employable into the future.

Because employees are ready to learn, corporate development initiatives are highly valued as a means to avoid job loss, increase workforce confidence and encourage promotions as well as career mobility. Over half of those who experienced a layoff believe engaging in new skills development could prevent a future layoff and 64% believe development contributes to the likelihood of promotion. When it comes to self-assurance in the workplace, 76% of participants agree that learning new skills makes them feel more confident at work, which in turn results in improved performance. With lack of certainty about the future of work, 50% of respondents see the ability to complete tasks beyond the immediate job assignment as key for promotion. Across age and gender, older generations (60%) believe skill diversification is more important than do younger workers (39%) and female respondents noted they value a diversified skill set (59%) more than they value a good relationship with their manager (26%).

“Technological improvements are making the world move fast – really fast. And, the workplace is changing at an unprecedented pace. Most of us simply cannot keep up. The skills divide is now affecting every single one of us – every job, every company, every industry,” said Adam Miller, Founder and CEO, Cornerstone. “The entire workforce is thinking about what new skills are needed for the future. Today, people yearn for learning and development opportunities from their employers. In fact, 83% of respondents to our recent survey want career resiliency by diversifying and improving their professional skills.”

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